Separation of Business and Home

Husband-and-wife team build successful Oregon plumbing business with complementary skill sets, while also maintaining a balanced home life

Separation of Business and Home

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Husband-and-wife business teams are not rare. Many are successful. Adam and Lori Faren are among the success stories.

Adam Faren is a journeyman plumber, licensed in California and Oregon, with over 30 years of experience. Lori Faren has no plumbing credentials — unless being married to one counts — but she worked for years in the office of a family fishing company in Canada. She knows ledgers and bottom lines and depreciation. Says Adam about his wife: “Lori’s strength is numbers and systems.”

Nineteen years ago, the couple decided to pool their experience and start their own Portland, Oregon-area company, Pipeline Plumbing. Nearly two decades later they are presiding together over a successful plumbing house that is steadily growing at the pace they want. Their service area covers the Portland metro area, including Vancouver, Washington.

Looking back, to what do they attribute their entrepreneurial success?

“One of the reasons we have succeeded is that our strengths are in different areas,” Adam says. “I definitely was the field person, working outside the office, communicating with customers, while Lori was in the office. We complemented one another and let each do what the person was good at.”

They also instituted a rule that, Adam says, helped them get away from the business at the end of the workday.

“We had sort of a seven-to-seven rule around the house, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. We tried real hard not to talk about the business between those hours. It’s all worked out pretty well.”

Looking ahead, with the couple having turned much of the day-to-day operations to a team of managers, what do they see for the business in the next 10 years?

“I wouldn’t say we have a 10-year plan in place, but it’s on our minds,” Adam says. “I’ll be in my 60s and we need to think about how to pass on the company and both exit it. The thing is, we both like what we do and don’t want to exit.”

Read more about Pipeline Plumbing in the March 2024 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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